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Old 14-03-2011, 20:27   #46
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

RobToronto... I'm with DOJ (no, not the dept of justice) on this one. I'd secure the vessel, turn off the gas, lash the wheel and head for nearest bar above 50 meters above the MHW line.
On the afternoon of 9/11, I was sitting on the aft deck of a larger powerboat enjoying sundowners and watching the sun set over San Diego harbor with the boat owner and a mutual friend who was beside himself feeling that the world was coming to an end. The boat owner, who had seen more than his share of rough patches in his life observed that when that big roulette wheel in the sky drops the ball into the slot with your name on it, reach down, grab your ankles and kiss your ass goodbye because nothing is going to change the outcome... so you might as well enjoy the last of the ride.
I still admire his outlook on life... cheers, Capt Phil

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Old 14-03-2011, 21:04   #47
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

Originally Posted by Rob Toronto View Post
There has been a tsunami warning and you've got 1 hour to save your boat...
First, a bit of perspective: if you took off in a commercial jet from Tokyo, it would take you ten hours to get to San Francisco; however, the tsunami that arrived on Friday got here nine hours after leaving the coast of Japan.

Because the recent Tsunami hit the USA west coast in the morning hours, we only knew it was coming two hours before it was due to arrive. That gave us twice as much time to make a decision than the hypothetical situation the OP allows. We decided to monitor the effect the tsunami had on Hawaii to try to determine what course of action to take. Those results were inconclusive, and the news media were not giving the type of detail we would have wanted on the effects it had on the islands.

I have an agreed-value policy on my boat, and it's worth more to me sunk than floating. In the time it would have taken that wave to get here from Hawaii, I would not have been able to get the boat into water deeper than 30 meters, even traveling at WOT 9 knots.

For us, the course of action was a no-brainer. Unacceptable risk. Breakfast on the hill, well above the tsunami line. The bacon was crispy.

After the time passed when the tsunami was forecast to arrive, nothing significant had happened. At that point I went in to work to hold office hours, and my wife returned to the boat. An hour later, the first surge hit. I was glad she was there to take care of the boat. The second surge surprised us however, and sank an 18' runabout attached to a neighbor's boat directly across the fairway from us.

One thing I know, having the recent experience under my belt: the armchair quarterbacking I've been reading on the net is completely out of touch. Even here on CF, there was a thread where multiple members were berating the bystanders shown in Santa Cruz news footage for not helping rescue boats. It turns out that most of the people standing up the hill watching the boats being destroyed were actually the boat owners. Many of these people were liveaboards who were were complying with police orders to evacuate the docks. And yet, right here on this forum we had members excoriating them for not lending a hand. Shame on those who felt compelled to pass judgment.

I'm hearing a lot of bravado now, three days after the waves have subsided. The armchair sailors are thumping their chests and telling us that they'd have risked everything to get their boats out to sea.

Right. Even if your boat was a SeaRay?

Think again. That tsunami was moving faster than a commercial jetliner travels with the jetstream at its back. And you want to face it?

cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 14-03-2011, 21:47   #48
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

It would seem that for an Asian-born tsunami, the best place for one's boat in the SF Bay or western U.S. coast, is about anywhere other than a marina.
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Old 14-03-2011, 21:51   #49
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

DEEP WATER, if you can make it.
Dirt don't hurt and chrome can't get you home
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Old 15-03-2011, 04:53   #50
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Anything here would be generated somwhere between here and the Azores 900 miles away.... don't know if I'd make it outa the shallows... be safer running for high ground...
Didn't know this before, but there was an tsunami which hit Lissabon and wiped out the city in 1755:

1755 Lisbon earthquake

SW from Lissabon, and not too far away. Wouldn't leave time to reach deep water, which is what I would try to do, just as long as there would be time. If no time, then head for high ground.
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Old 15-03-2011, 05:17   #51
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

I suspect that 'Lectronic Latitude may have been a bit hasty in their editorial slant on the Banderas Bay port closures.


Waiting out the tsunami surges in Banderas Bay « TOWARDS THE PACIFIC

Taking Refuge in Banderas Bay | Calou's Blog
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Old 15-03-2011, 09:13   #52
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

From personal experience in this latest tsunami watch, it took an hour to clear the channel, two more hours to begin getting into deeper water, and yet one more to be in water deep enough that I could breathe easier. I had left on a hunch as soon as I learned of the disaster in Japan and before the official tsunami warning went out. If I had slept through the news, the warning would not have provided enough time. In short, one hour would not be enough, nor would two, so it would be high ground here I come with such essentials as I can get in and on my jeep. Three maybe, four or five yes.
'Tis evening on the moorland free,The starlit wave is still: Home is the sailor from the sea, The hunter from the hill.
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Old 15-03-2011, 12:18   #53
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

Attention West Coasties:
Don't rely on news reports from Hawaii to guide you as to what to do. The media was wrong and they were too quick to report that everything was fine. This last tsunami hit Hawaii in the wee hours of the morning where the wave could not be seen because is was zero dark thirty. The coastal areas were evacuated so there were few eye-witnesses only civil defense and police were in areas where there might have been damage. The severe damages we had were not witnessed until sunrise at least twoto three hours after the waves started.
Here in Hilo we've had tsunami experience for many years and we're still just guessing each time we get an alert. The worst was a 30 foot tsunami back in '46 on April fool's day. If that size wave caught your boat in less than 100 feet of water you may not be able to survive. As you've seen from the video footage in Japan it is a wall of water that just keeps on coming across the low lying areas.
The worst place to be is in a narrowing river valley or bay that shoals gradually. The wave just keeps building and pushes up into the valley.
This last tsunami wiped out homes in a small valley and brought water to the 12 foot mark and higher even though it was a small wave down on the coast.
Don't forget to get your kit ready and have your boat ready for the next one. It could be much larger and more severe. Put any medication you might need in the kit along with seasick meds.
For those of you who heard there was no damage in Hawaii that doesn't make those folks who lost their homes, businesses and boats here feel any better.
kind regards,
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Old 15-03-2011, 13:08   #54
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Re: Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

I went to sea an hour before the scheduled arrival of the Tsunami and had no problems in Kona. Of course, we have the deepest water, closest to shore of anywhere in the world. The bottom falls out of my 100 fathom depth sounder less than a 1/4 mile from shore. No one at sea felt a thing when the Tsunami waves passed through.

The real question for those on Continental Shelf areas is how deep the water has to be before the Tsunami Waves stack up and create a wall of water rather than just an imperceptible lump. Word from the Tsunami Warning Center was to get to water deeper than a 100 fathoms but don't think that is a defining depth. Can't see a Tsunami being dangerous in OPEN water with a 100' depth but someone with the expertise really needs to study this, if they haven't done so already, and get the word out on their findings. You definitely don't want to be in a confined bay. BTW, all the pictures you see of the Tsunami Waves from Japan were in extremely shallow water shoreline areas. The absolutely worst place to be in a Tsunami. Doesn't matter how deep the offshore water is when you aren't offshore.

To me leaving the boat in port and relying on insurance is immoral if taking the boat to sea is a safe possibility. We've become a nation of screw responsibility, leave others on the hook for our neglect. I wouldn't blame insurance companies for not paying off on the boats that were left needlessly at the dock and suffered damage here. It took so little effort and time to get a boat safe at sea yet hundreds of people ignored the warnings. I wasn't ready to get to sea when the warnings came. My headstay and furler were on the dock being rebuilt and had no crew. Still didn't have a problem getting the boat underway despite it's unsailable condition.

There is no place in the world safe from a Tsunami. Significant Tsunamis are rare in some areas but there is evidence almost everywhere of killer Tsunamis striking these areas. Those of us in the Pacific need to be especially watchful as the 'The Ring of Fire' is constantly under motion and major earthquakes are getting to be way too common. Be prepared as the Boy Scouts say. Damned global warming.

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